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After Ethiopia Crash, Vietnam Aviation Authority Says No to Boeing 737 MAX

Following a catastrophic accident in Ethiopia, Vietnam’s aviation authorities announced that it won’t grant local airlines licenses to operate Boeing 737 MAX aircraft until the cause of the crash is determined.

On Sunday, March 10, Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crashed shortly after taking off, killing all 157 passengers and crew on board. While investigators are stilling figuring out what happened, the incident has brought about intensified scrutiny of Boeing and its 737 MAX 8 model.

Last October, a 737 MAX 8 model operated by Indonesian airline Lion Air also crashed into the Java Sea just 10 minutes after departing the airport. Following the accident in Ethiopia, Indonesia has temporarily grounded all MAX 8 planes, pending inspections. China, Ethiopia and Singapore have also made similar decisions.

On Monday, Vietnam also joined the list of countries and airlines that are cautiously shelving Boeing 737 MAX 8. According to Dinh Viet Thang, chief of the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV), the model is not currently being used by any Vietnamese air carrier but some have either placed orders or considered buying new MAX 8 for their fleet.

Specifically, during the Trump-Kim summit back in February, VietJet Air placed an order for 100 new Boeing 737 planes, including 80 MAX 10 and 20 MAX 8. The first plane from the order is meant to arrive in Vietnam this October. Vietnam Airlines and Bamboo Airways were also considering buying new 737 MAX airplanes, but so far haven’t made any purchase.

Nonetheless, it looks like VietJet’s new aircraft have little chance of takeoff, at least for the moment, as CAAV has decided to halt licensing 737 MAX.

“This morning, we had a meeting about this issue and came to the decision that we will not be reviewing licenses for the use of Boeing 737 MAX planes until the causes for the crashes are identified and the US Federal Aviation Administration takes proper remedying measures,” Chief Thang told Viet Nam News.

[Photo via Boeing]


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